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Generosity that Lasts for Generations

11 months ago By The Signatry

We all want our families to carry out our values and spirit of generosity, but how can you translate the desire for a strong family legacy into something truly attainable? At The Signatry, we are focused on equipping families to build lasting family values and generosity. Over the years while working with families, we noticed a common theme. Families who are sure of their values tend to be more connected and to live more generously. When a family knows what it stands for and has its circle to stand with, that clarity and community usually leads to impactful, meaningful action. That’s it—one of the simplest keys to generosity that will last and transform your family: Communicate your values. If you want to begin developing your family values and growing your family’s generosity, you can start with a few steps: 1. Invest your time and behaviors in what you care about. You must be the first one to exemplify the values you want your family to share. Whether you have young children or are an empty nester, how you act and where you put your time and energy speaks clearly about your values. Your financial giving can’t be disconnected from the way you live or the attitudes you hold. Children, even from a young age, will pick up on those behaviors. Remember, your actions are a form of communication. 2. Connect the dots between actions and family values. One common mistake we see families make is to assume their values are clear. While your actions or the charities you support might be evident, have you truly connected the dots to articulate exactly what the driving value is? Do you continue to repeat that theme? True, lasting, transformational generosity starts when your family is clear on why they give. We encourage families to identify 3-5 values and create short statements to describe these. Your family can’t practice what they haven’t been taught; family values statements give you a tool to solidify and reinforce what and why you support these causes. 3. Open up family leadership opportunities. As you live with intentionality, repeating your core values and engaging with your family, look for ways to pass the baton. Create opportunities for other family members to lead during each step of the giving process. Being able to take the practice from start to finish—identifying the value, choosing a cause and organization, and deciding how to engage in generosity—teaches each family member how to engage in a generous life as they grow. Even for young kids, early chances to learn to make decisions will help reinforce values and teach them exactly how to engage in the process. Sharing these responsibilities will also look different in different seasons of life, so giving everyone the opportunity to participate will deepen connection even through the various seasons. Family values lead to family legacy. We always say that generosity is the great equalizer because, even with differing opinions in the family or in conversations about wealth, generosity becomes a place of equal participation. You all have a common goal to work toward together—to create meaningful, positive change in the world—and there are few things which can so easily unify a family. We hope this is an encouraging way to think about the basics of your family generosity. No giving plan or list of charities will fully connect with your family until you all are clear on your purpose and values together. That’s where it gets good! Solidifying your family’s values opens up the door to clarity on what matters, to deep connections, and to exciting, transformational generosity. Better yet, those clearly articulated and embodied values provide a simple pathway for future generations to understand and follow themselves. Let’s live generously for generations just as God intended.

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Challenging the Law: The Influence of Five Women

2 years ago By Carole Urbas

The Bible gives clear examples of how a woman’s influence is felt throughout the generations. Women influenced society in a variety of ways: through their households, religious life, economics, hospitality, service, and their overall generous nature. From Esther’s path to queen, to the determination of Mary Magdalene, generational change was affected by multiple women. There are several instances of this seen in the Old Testament, including the story of the five daughters of Zelophehad and their quest for an estate. These five vulnerable women came before their community and challenged the law of inheritance. Where a man’s property was to be inherited by his sons, the five daughters of Zelophehad were unwed and had no brothers upon their father’s passing. What happens in this case? The women made a plea for further explanation and terms in their desire to maintain their father’s legacy. They did not act in a hierarchical manner but presented their case by saying “let not our father’s name be lost.” Moses took the issue before the Lord who responded in support of the sisters’ plea. “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘The plea of Zelophehad’s daughters is just: you should give them a hereditary holding… Further, speak to the Israelite people as follows: If a man dies without leaving a son, you shall transfer his property to his daughter.’” Numbers 27: 6—8 The daughters would inherit the land and their case would become precedent for other families in which there were no sons. The boldness of the daughters of Zelophehad provides an example for women today who desire to leave a legacy. Their zeal for bonding the family and carrying on resources is an important model for many women tasked with this today. Not only are women influential in day-to-day life, women now hold a major stake in financial influence. For example, intergenerational wealth set to be inherited by women is $28.7 trillion over the next 40 years. Women also control 51% of all personal wealth in the United States and now hold the majority (52%) of management, professional, and related positions. Financial blessings coupled with the life-giving nature of women is a recipe for impact in families, churches, and charities serving the Kingdom on a global level. — At The Signatry, we strive to help women recognize and live out this God-given design to influence humanity for generations to come. Several unique opportunities we offer for personal growth with women and their families include:

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